by CI Staff
Recently, Computerized Investing subscribers have been requesting that we cover more Mac-based programs. With that in mind, this week we review Snowmint Budget, a personal financial management software program designed to help you track your various accounts. Snowmint Budget also offers envelope budgeting features. Best of all, the software works on both Windows- and iOS-based computers.
As with most personal finance programs, the first step is to set up your main account. Let’s assume that your checking account is with Chase Bank. To create the account, click on the info button on the toolbar and fill in the appropriate information. In order to set up a budget, you must create envelopes for expenses. In our example, five envelopes have been created: rent, utilities, groceries, clothes and entertainment.
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After setting up your basic accounts and envelopes, enter your current account balance by clicking on the Deposit icon on the top toolbar. In the window that pops up, you are able to fill in the dollar amount and distribute portions to the envelopes that you have created. Now that the accounts and envelopes are set up, the program will keep track of your income and expenses and automatically adjust each envelope as you record subsequent transactions. For example, to record a grocery payment of $100, first click on the groceries envelope. From the Transaction pull-down menu, select Debit and enter the requested information in the window that pops up. When you click on the record button, the program automatically deducts money from the available envelope and adds the expense to the groceries envelope.
Snowmint Budget also allows you to set up recurring income and expense transactions. Click on the Account pull-down menu and select Pay Source Info to set up recurring income. Click the Add button and fill out the information contained in the Pay Source window. To set up a recurring expense, click on an envelope and click on the Info button on the toolbar. Fill out the details in the window that pops up. You will notice that the envelope amounts do not change after setting up the recurring income and expenses. The envelopes will only be allocated when the income payment is received. When income is received, simply click on the Pay button at the top, select the payment you set up previously, and click Record Pay.
Snowmint Budget allows you to check all the transactions allocated to each envelope by selecting on an envelope and clicking on the Env History button on the toolbar. In the History window, you may set up reminders, print, and search on key words.
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Snowmint Budget offers an extensive user resource guide. In addition, a downloadable free trial version is available. The trial version does not expire, although every time you open and close the program, you will see a pop-up window asking you to purchase the software. In addition, the free version does not have all of the functionalities of the purchased version.
System Requirements: Mac OS X v10.3.9 or later; 20MB free disk space space or Windows 98 or later; .NET framework; 20MB of free disk space; 128MB RAM; Pentium 90 Mhz processor or faster
Price: $39.95; free trial